What is Ketotifen Fumarate?

Ketotifen fumarate is an antihistamine that is most commonly used to treat allergic conjunctivitis, which causes irritated eyes from allergies to everyday nuisances, including pollen, dust and animals. It is marketed as a salt with fumaric acid in its ophthalmic design. Ketotifen fumarate is also available in an oral form, which is used to combat Anaphylaxis, asthma attacks and the majority of mast cell, allergic conditions. Fumaric acid can be found in Iceland moss, bolete mushrooms, fumitory and lichen and was first created from succinic acid.

When ketotifen fumarate is properly administered in its eye drop form, it begins to almost immediately work to prevent irritation and/or eye itchiness that comes with many seasonal allergies. Within minutes, the user will feel relief. The common brand name for the ophthalmic form of ketotifen fumarate is Zadiator, which is available in generic form. Dosage for children over age 3 and for adults is 1 drop in the bothered eye or eyes, every 8-12 hours, no more than 2 times daily, or as instructed by a physician. It should be used at the same time every day. Hands should always be washed before applying to the eye. Before wearing contact lenses while using this medication, check with your doctor and always remove them before applying the drops. Ketotifen fumarate should not be used to treat eyes that are irritated from wearing contact lenses.

Common side effects associated with the use of ophthalmic ketotifen fumarate include dry eyes, stinging and burning of the eye, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, light sensitivity and bad taste in the mouth. More serious side effects that should be brought to the attention of a doctor include vision problems, eye pain and an increase in swelling or eye redness. Use only as prescribed during pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers must consult doctors because it is not known whether the medication passes into breast milk.

In its oral form, ketotifen fumarate is used for treating asthma. With daily use, the drug may lessen the duration, frequency and severity of asthma attacks and symptoms in adults and children, when taken with other antiasthma medications. It is to be taken orally twice a day and the tablets should not be chewed or crushed. In order to be effective, it must be taken regularly. Other asthma medications must not be stopped unless directed by a physician but eventually the use of ketotifen fumarate may lead to less of a need for the use of additional asthma medications. It is not effective in treating an acute asthma attack. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may also be relieved by this drug.

Common side effects with oral ketotifen fumarate include dizziness, flu-like symptoms, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth and drowsiness. To reduce the drowsiness effect, the dosage may be increased slowly throughout the first week of use. Less common side effects include rash, stomach pain, unusual weight gain, nervousness, bleeding, irritability or bruising. If any of these side effects occur, they should be reported to a physician immediately.

Dosage for the oral form of ketotifen fumarate will vary amongst patients, so it is important to follow a physician’s instructions and the directions on the label. Never change dosage unless told by a doctor. The amount of medicine taken is based on its strength level. In addition, the number of daily doses, time prescribed between doses and how long the medicine is taken depends on the medical issue that is the basis for its use.


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